Tom in NO
Topic Author
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:38 am

Back when I worked for the Los Angeles County Aviation Division (we operated El Monte, Brackett, Compton, Whiteman, and Fox Fields) in the mid 80's, we had Desert Sun Airlines operating out of Fox Field in Lancaster. They operated Piper Chieftains and Beach 99's:


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I'm looking for a little history on Desert Sun. I know they operated routes to LAX, Blythe, and Fox Field (WJF). Anybody else know more about their history, when they started, other routes, additional aircraft, when they went out of business, etc, etc.

Thanks much.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:50 am

This has a timetable- http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usb/desertsun.htm showing the route map.
 
SLC1
Posts: 1360
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:13 pm

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:56 am

There is a website that lists the airlines of North America and puts Desert Sun under the America West Express category. The link to Desert sun now redirects to Mesa - not sure what all that means or what the specifics are.
We're gonna do what we like to call a "jetBlue how do you do", which is slang for dumping a bunch of fuel in the ocean
 
Av8trxx
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:30 am

There were two airlines with this name. The latter incarnation was created as a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group back in June 1995 and operated Fokkers as America West Express for a short time. The division was later absorbed back into Mesa.
 
Tom in NO
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:45 am

Thanks for both responses, Av8trxx  Smile, I'm interested in the original carrier which flew the prop jobs.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
FATFlyer
Posts: 4551
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:51 am

There have been several Desert Suns. There was Mesa's operator of F70s, but that is different from this one. I think part of Scenic has also used that name.

Tom is thinking of the commuter that was operated by a charter company called Custom Aviation in the early 80s. (It was common in those years for anyone with access to an aircraft to start a commuter.)

They had service out of Palmdale only from May 1984 to January 1985. I don't know about the other cities.

Aerofiles shows them as being out of Long Beach.

If I run across anything I'll post it.


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
Tom in NO
Topic Author
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:06 am

They had service out of Palmdale only from May 1984 to January 1985.

I remember making a run from our Vermont Avenue office in downtown L.A. (since moved to Alhambra) out to Fox Field in December of 1984 for a meeting. About a foot of snow (or so it seemed) on the ground, crystal clear blue sky, cold as all get-out, and I took a bunch of slides that day. I'll have to dig them out and see if Desert Sun is in any of them. Great experience for someone who barely knew what snow was all about!

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
Topic Author
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Desert Sun Airlines

Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:58 am

Dug out my Fox Field (Lancaster) slides last night. I ended up finding 3 (all dated November of 1985) with Desert Sun aircraft in them:

1) from the control tower looking back at the small terminal and ramp. Desert Sun has a Beech 99 on the ramp. Only aircraft in picture NOT covered in snow.

2) same aircraft taking off.

3) Desert Sun Navajo Chieftain (N3543B) on the ramp.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina

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